“THE STATE IS weak and powerless to protect its citizens but still able to punish them for their so-called transgressions.” – Eric Zemmour
Each Islamic atrocity in Europe triggers a predictable avalanche of political posturing and journalistic slop. That has changed in some parts but remains posturing and slop nonetheless. Politicians don’t seem quite as keen to leap up and proclaim that Islam is a religion of peace as they used to be or to preach the message that the actions of the terrorists are the result of a deformed form of Islam. The rest remains the same, however.
The rest being that we must be sensitive to Muslims to avoid the backlash, and that any expression that doesn’t conform to the prescribed rituals of lighting candles, laying flowers, scrawling vacuous messages and blathering about love and solidarity must be quashed.
Thus in Brussels a demonstration against terrorism had to be cancelled because the police couldn’t guarantee the safety of the public. A “vigil”, comprised of handwringers and some pro-Palestinians activists, however, seemed acceptable. A demonstration by those who refused to accept the ban, on the other hand, was not. They were treated to water cannon, the police somehow having found the wherewithal to protect the public.
I didn’t need to listen to much of the reporting of this on TV, since I could have written the script myself. What I did see was the BBC’s correspondent, Damian Grammaticas, repeatedly describing the demonstrators (“Casuals Against Terrorism”) as “thugs” and “far right”. I don’t know what evidence he had for describing them as thugs, but there again, since when did the media ever need actual evidence? We all know now that “far right” is the blanket term used by the media for anyone who doesn’t agree with their agenda of mass immigration, so nothing new there. What was amusing, though, was to see behind Mr Grammaticas a man, presumably one of the peace and love “vigil” crowd, jumping up and down in front of them amid the candles and flowers, brandishing a Palestinian flag. I’ll assume that the significance of this was lost on the BBC crew.
The flag-brandishing does symbolise the complete severance between the political and media elites and the rest of society. Blandly, arrogantly, they peddle their message while behind them in the real world the murderers and their supporters brazenly signal their allegiances.
This also happened in the same week that a Croydon man was arrested for posting a tweet that was deemed racially offensive, to wit: “I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said ‘Nothing to do with me.’ A mealy mouthed reply.” The tweet went viral, spawning dozens of mocking parodies.
Someone in the Ploddery, however, thought it was not so amusing and hauled him in. Fortunately for Mr Doyle the Crown Prosecution Service told the cops to drop the charge because (obviously) it was nonsense. Unfortunately for Mr Doyle in the interim he’d suffered the indignity of being arrested and having his flat ransacked by the Met.
It appears that M Zemmour is correct, then. The state is weak and hardly able to protect us from real harm in the form of bombs and bullets; and yet is able to come after us for fictional transgressions on Twitter. Funny old world.
Currente Calamo columnist, poet, writer and lecturer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire . From 2005–2008 he was the Royal Literary Fund fellow at the University of Lincoln where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent collection is Spyglass Over The Lagoon. A selection of his Fortnightly Currente Calamo columns, Sucks To Your Revolution: Annoying The Politically Correct (US), is available as a Kindle ebook.